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Guess what Norway spent on salmon marketing last year

France received most of Norway’s salmon marketing attention, followed by Germany and Spain.

The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) spent NOK 219 million (€23.5 million/$27.8 million) on marketing salmon in 2016, a significant 23 percent jump compared with the NOK 178 million (€19.1 million/$22.6 million) it spent in 2015.

Of this total sum, France received the most attention with more than NOK 21 million (€2.3 million/$2.7 million), followed by Germany with NOK 20.6 million (€2.2 million/$2.6 million) and Spain with NOK 20.4 million (€2.2 million/$2.6 million).

The NSC spent around NOK 14 million (€1.5 million/$1.8 million) on marketing salmon in Japan and Italy and just more than NOK 10 million (€1.1 million/$1.3 million) on the United States. The UK received NOK 5 million (€536,395/$633,685) and Norway itself NOK 4.5 million (€482,756/$570,316) over the year.

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Overall the body spent NOK 388 million (€41.6 million/$49.2 million) on marketing Norwegian seafood in 2016, up from NOK 331 million (€35.5 million/$41.9 million) the year before.

While NOK 52.7 million (€5.7 million/$6.7 million) was spent on “general marketing”, NOK 33.3 million (€3.6 million/$4.2 million) was spent on pelagic marketing, NOK 32.3 million (€3.5 million/$4.1 million) on whitefish, and NOK 20 million (€2.1 million/$2.5 million) on trout.

The majority of pelagic marketing spend was in Japan with NOK 11.6 million (€1.2 million/$1.5 million) followed by South Korea with NOK 6.8 million (€729,497/$861,812).

The United Kingdom and France benefited the most from the whitefish marketing with NOK 6.4 million (€686,586/$811,117) and NOK 5 million (€536,395/$633,685) respectively.

Additionally spend on marketing efforts for shrimp and shellfish nearly double to NOK 6.2 million (€665,130/$785,769) in 2016, compared with NOK 3.3 million (€354,021/$418,232) in 2015.

Fears of protectionism lead to shift in strategy

In its annual report 2016, the NSC said it has reduced market investments on consumer-oriented measures and strengthened efforts to build identity and reputation in the most important Norwegian seafood markets.

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The shift in strategy comes amid increasing protectionism in world trade, stagnation in the work of major free-trade agreements and Britain's decision to withdraw from the EU, all of which have “increased uncertainty about the future market access for Norwegian seafood,” the council said.

In addition, as of Jan. 1, the NSC reduced the market fee for salmon, trout and the most important pelagic fish species from 0.6 percent to 0.3 percent. For other fish stocks, though, the existing fees were maintained at 0.75 percent.

This means, however, that the NSC's average tax rate based on 2016 revenues will be reduced by 39 percent from 2016 to 2017 and  will ultimately result in the equity of the council being reduced. Total equity in 2016 was NOK 481 million.

For 2016, the NSC’s revenues amounted to more than NOK 564 million (€60.5 million/$71.5 million) in 2016 up from NOK 544 million (€58.4 million/$68.9 million) a year earlier, with NOK 555.6 million (€59.6 million/$70.4 million) of this coming from marketing fees placed on the industry.

The NSC’s income from annual fees during the year amounted to NOK 7.4 million (€793,865/$937,854) in 2016, up from NOK 7 million (€750,953/$887,159) in 2015.

Related to these fees, in 2016, Norwegian salmon farming giant Marine Harvest sent two formal complaints to the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), as it wishes to see the market levy turned into a voluntary arrangement.

The first complaint claims that the model for financing the Seafood Council is illegal under the EEA Agreement, while the second alleges that the scheme represents illegal state aid.

The cases are currently being handled by the Ministry of Food and Fisheries, said the annual report.

Total operating investments for the year came to NOK 501 million (€53.7 million/$63.5 million) compared with NOK 430 million (€46.1 million/$54.5 million) in 2015.

Overall the NSC posted an operating profit of NOK 31.9 million (€3.4 million/$4 million), down significantly from an operating profit of NOK 84 million (€9 million/$10.6 million) in 2015.

Total capital at the end of the year was NOK 606 million (€65 million/$76.8 million), compared with NOK 552 million (€59.2 million/$70 million) before.


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